It is the spring of 2008 and we are walking through the house that we would fortunately have the winning bid. Not only were we excited for starting our lives together, we were excited to start our lives in a house that we could truly put our stamp on.
Thirteen years later I realize just how naive this soon to be bride was with the schoolhouse that was dirt cheap. There was a reason we won the bid on that warm April afternoon; the other bidders saw we didn’t want to purchase to flip. Rather, we wanted this place so we could create our first home. Together.
Over the next decade we would eventually touch every inch of this house. New doors, paint in every room, a new master bedroom suite, and flooring throughout the entire house. We have learned a lot about how we can take care of a space and give it life, but we also learned how this space can give us life.
When we first walked through the door we were greeted by a very sad looking room where there were cabinets hanging on the wall, a shallow sink, and a nook that eluded it was intended for a refrigerator to be placed in the empty spot. It looked very dirty, but the 60 year old shallow cabinets were in good condition. Paint was going to be our friend mostly because it was all our newlywed budget could afford.
For 13 years we lived with white cabinets that I painted during our first summer in our new home. The countertop was also replaced with an inexpensive laminate countertop within the first month of home ownership. And I was ok with it all. Until I wasn’t. It was time for a grown up kitchen that reflected where we were in our lives. We were now a family of four attempting to make a slapped together kitchen work for our needs. We could feel the growing pains.
It took us a few months to really think what we wanted to include in our kitchen and then a year to save up for these much needed improvements. This was going to be a big investment and we wanted to make sure we got it right. That’s when Cabinet Joint entered in from stage right. Below are the renderings they created for us.
After seeing these images we were both very excited about what was to come for our space! An important piece to note is the cabinets we ordered were ready to assemble (RTA). After they were delivered and unloaded in our carport, we hauled them to the family room where we had a few hours worth of time where to assemble them. Thankfully during this process our kids were old enough to be helpful and understand when certain tasks were considered “mommy/daddy jobs”. Helping with gluing was great. Not so much when it came to nailing.
While we diligently assembled the cabinets, we had our narrow porthole of a window replaced with a much larger window. Knowing the location of the sink would move under the window, I wanted to be able to look out without needing to use a step stool to see our kids playing outside. I am so thankful for this new view of our yard. It has really proven itself to be a gorgeous view for a lot of reasons!
During the day it’s fun to see the kids climbing in and out of their playhouse and at night you can see the glow of our cafe lights on the old chicken shed. Who knew an investment in a window could provide one such a unique outlook on their life?
It took us about a week of evening building sessions to assemble all of our cabinets. We really did have quite the family assembly line going on! At this point in the project we were in full motion of school and didn’t have time to do all of the work ourselves. We are old enough now and have done enough ourselves to be ok to call a professional in to help. This time the professional we called is a good friend of Adam’s from his college years. For all locals reading, be sure to call Nickel Construction. Tells bad jokes and can find a stud real good!
With a bit of help from Adam, Kenton insulated our kitchen and hung the cabinets. The millwork that was done was truly icing on the cake. Elevating our humble country kitchen to a kitchen I only dreamed of for the last decade. Coming home from school that first day to the smell of new cabinets was more exciting than it should have been. For 13 years, the old cabinets carried such a musty smell that on a humid day gave off the odor of a musty hotel room. Now we have a kitchen that when it’s cleaned not only looks clean, but smells and feels clean.
In addition to carefully choosing a layout and cabinets that would offer the most storage in our quaint kitchen, we discovered we could build in an insert to hold my beloved Kitchen Aide mixer. This wedding gift given to us by our grandmas was lifted from the top of the pantry every time we wanted to use this renaissance kitchen tool. Doing this was fine for Adam to do because of his height, but for someone of my vertical impair-ness it was a task I could use when I began the journey of ninja warrior. As I slid it from this shelf over head, I prayed every time the appliance wouldn’t hit me in my mouth and then drop of my pathetically sensitive toes.
Overall, it took us a few more weeks to accomplish the tiling and countertop installation. We are so happy with the outcome! We feel we were able to accomplish everything we wanted for this little space.
But I didn’t show you any pictures of the completed kitchen, did I? This is a space that we have thoroughly enjoyed making meals for our family over the last 9 months. Tomorrow I’m going to share those pictures!